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LH Chamber offers variety for local businesses and community

LH Chamber offers variety for local businesses and community

Posted on 08 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

With National Chamber of Commerce Week approaching on September, 19-23, many people either have a misconception of chambers or don’t know exactly what it is that they do.

Photo courtesy Mark Sturdevant Business sense: Members of the La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce listen  to a presentation by Living Justly discussing aquaponics. The Chamber works to provide opportunities for local owners to share information.

Photo courtesy Mark Sturdevant
Business sense: Members of the La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce listen to a presentation by Living Justly discussing aquaponics. The Chamber works to provide opportunities for local owners to share information.

Like all chambers, the La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce is a form of a business network organization whose goal is to further the interests of businesses.
The La Habra Chamber has been doing that for the local business community for 102 years.
Mark Sturdevant, president of the La Habra Chamber, explained that the chamber is a membership group that exists to help the local business community.
From networking to local government advocacy, the chamber works to provide options and opportunities to businesses according to Sturdevant.
“We create platforms for businesses,” Sturdevant said. “The business can choose what it is that they want.”
The platforms that Sturdevant mentioned are what the chamber offers its members.  He explained it can be customized to passive or aggressive, depending on what the business owner feels he or she needs.
Members are listed in the Life in La Habra magazine, which is mailed out to every resident in La Habra. They are also on the website as a member.
Sturdevant explained this is the more passive approach.  However, business owners  can become more active and aggressive in the chamber as they see fit.
They take part in networking mixers.  The weekly Connect Up at Corner Bakery on Thursday mornings, the occasional lunch mobs, where members go out to lunch at one of the member restaurants.
They can take part in training or presentations at the Chamber’s Enterprise group.  Members or business trainers come and give presentations each week. According to Sturdevant, this is a way to let others really understand your business.
“It comes down to one thing….sales,” Sturdevant said “If you don’t get sales, you won’t be in business.  If it’s profitable is up to you.”
He added that the chamber understands this and works to provide opportunities to businesses that could, in turn, help sales.
The La Habra Chamber is one  of the founding members of the Chamber Business Alliance, which is a group of six chambers.  The CBA is an example of the trend in understanding that sales don’t stop at city borders. Customers can come from anywhere and it is in the best interest of chambers to find ways to collaborate.
The current members of the CBA are  LH, Brea, Yorba Linda, Placenta, La Mirada and Artesia, with the possibility of more chambers joining.
The CBA allows networking opportunities with businesses in outer cities.
“You might not make a sale right there,” Sturdevant said. “But it could provide benefits long term.”
As a non-governmental institution, a chamber of commerce has no direct role in the writing and passage of laws and regulations that affect businesses.
The La Habra Chamber has built a collaborative relationship with the city government, one that is built on mutual respect, according to Sturdevant.
“We aren’t looking for combat,” he said. “We’re looking to get things done.”
Another area that the Chamber works is with the community.  Sturdevant understands the importance of children in building and fostering relationships in a community.
He started a junior ambassadors program at the  Chamber, where high school students can work with the chamber and join the Goodwill Ambassadors to go out and meet with businesses and become advocates for the local business industry.
He also worked with La Habra High School and its MBA program where students are able to learn from and shadow local business professionals on how to run businesses and the secrets to their success.
The Chamber also works to help foster young entrepreneurs and will hear their proposals in a “Shark Tank” like forum, all for the purpose of training the local youth on the importance of business.
The chamber also provides scholarships to each of the three high schools in the city.  This is to help recognize those students who show promise in business.
Another way the Chamber helps promote community is by putting on the annual Citrus Fair in La Habra.  The event has grown into a large spring event, encompassing not just business, but education and fun as well.
Sturdevant also pointed out that the chamber focuses on the Shop La Habra campaigns, twice a year.  Everyone is encouraged to bring their receipts from La Habra businesses to the chamber and trade them in for raffle tickets.
He added that there have been more than $1.5 million in total receipts turned in. He looks to keep encouraging people to spend money at La Habra businesses.
Since there is a Chamber of Commerce week, it’s good to understand what exactly a chamber does for the local communities and why there is a week of recognition.
“We make introductions to people,” Sturdevant explained. “We try to learn about the businesses, what they do, what do they want. And in the end, we all want what’s best for businesses and the community.”

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LH native scores big with burgers

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LH native scores big with burgers

Posted on 05 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

There’s something to be said about being an individual when it comes to starting your own business. This is true for Sonora alumni and growing restaurateur Joseph Mahon as he opened his second Burger Parlor restaurant this week.

Burger Meister: La Habra native Joseph Mahon stands just before the opening of his second Burger Parlor Restaurant. The Sonora alumni always dreamed of being a chef and owning a restaurant.

Burger Meister: La Habra native Joseph Mahon stands just before the opening of his second Burger Parlor Restaurant. The Sonora alumni always dreamed of being a chef and owning a restaurant.

Mahon knew what he wanted to do at a young age.  While many of his family members were making their name in the world of running and track (his cousin Terrence went on to be an Olympic distance running coach), Joseph had other plans.
“I needed to carve my own path,” he explained.  “That’s been my way my whole life.  I’ve marched to the beat of my own drum.”
What Mahon wanted to do was to be a chef and own his own restaurant.  He admits that he was a bit rambunctious while he was in junior high school at Our Lady of Guadalupe School.  However, he would tell his mother not to worry, he would own his own restaraunt some day.
The seeds of a budding chef were planted early in Mahon. His mother valued eating and cooking, so little Joseph took in those values too.  His individual spirit in his early teens did cause him to get into trouble, but he used his punishment to hone in on his future.
Mahon explained that he was “grounded a lot,” but that allowed him to watch “Great Chefs Great Cities” on PBS.  “It was an amazing program,” he said.
He never wavered in his desire to cook.  His grandmother gave him her 400 cookbooks so he could continue to develop his passion for cooking.
While his cousins and older brother attended La Habra High School, Joseph, always the individual, spent his freshman year at Servite, and then transferred to Sonora for his high school education.
He started cooking professionally at 16.  After a quick stint at a tea house,  he was hired to cook at Mulberry Street Restaurant in Downtown Fullerton where he worked for two years.
“I saved up my paychecks,” Mahon explained. “I wanted my parents to see that I was serious about going to the Culinary Arts Institute of America.”
So, finally, at 19, he headed to the school in New York  to take the next step in  fulfilling his dream.

La Habra native Joseph Mahon opeens his second Burger Parlor. This one in Old Town Orange.

La Habra native Joseph Mahon opeens his second Burger Parlor. This one in Old Town Orange.

I worked for some of the most well known restaurants in New York, Paris and London. He was able to work with and learn from some of the most respected chefs including Daniel Boulud, Andrew Carmellini and Gordon Ramsay.
After spending six years in New York, it was time that the La Habra native headed back to the West Coast.
Mahon spent five years working in LA fine dining scene.  It was then he met his wife and he decided to make the move to owning his own restaurant.
After what he explains as a “good learning  experience” with his first restaurant concept, The Early Bird, he moved to burgers.
“I just wanted to improve on the existing burger place that I grew up with,” he explained.
What started up as a pop-up restaurant idea in 2011 became the brick and mortar restaurant Burger Parlor today.
When we started off the concept, I knew what I wanted,” the business owner explained.  “Small businesses often open without a plan.  I had a plan, a guide and an agenda of how I wanted it to feel and be.”
Now with the opening of his second restaurant, Mahon cites the staff as the reason for Burger Parlor’s success.
“I like investing in my team,” he said with a smile. “I invest more in people, because our people are Burger Parlor.”
The married father of two never lost sight of his goal and made good on the promise he made to his parents when he was a teen.
He said he is happy that he can bring the skills he learned back to the communities that helped shape him.
“We want people who want to come to us for a consistent quality product.,” he said. “They need to eat somewhere, we just want people to eat with us.”

 

Burger Parlor

FULLERTON
204 N. Harbor Blvd.
(714) 441-2003

ORANGE
149 N. Glassell St.
(714) 602-8282

burgerparlor.com

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Graham’s Towing: A long commitment to the community

Graham’s Towing: A long commitment to the community

Posted on 05 August 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal

Graham’s Towing, which started out in the back of a Chevron gas station on the corner of Whittier Boulevard and Euclid Street, has been devoted to giving back to the La Habra community for the past 36 years in so much more than just towing cars.  LHJ Grahams towing_0004
The emergency road service was bought from Bill Graham in 1979 by a local college student in his early twenties, trusted to pay it off as he could.
The Chevron and Graham’s employees at the time knew Graham as a man who always wanted to help people.
He was known to hire teenagers when he didn’t even need help; he just wanted to give them a chance and a little work experience.
“Bill told me I should buy Graham’s Towing from him, which I didn’t think was possible considering how young I was,” said Graham’s Towing owner Danny Hanson. “When the bank wouldn’t give me a loan, Bill told me to just dispatch the business out of the front lobby of the gas station, keep the trucks in the back, and pay him back whenever I could. He took a chance on a young kid. I owe everything to Bill Graham.”
It was Graham’s giving and trusting nature that inspired Hanson to dedicate his business and his own personal time to giving back to the community.
Hanson and his wife Ofelia have been volunteering throughout the community in every way they can since he started the business.
Hanson is on the Board of Directors for Help for Brain Injured Children (HBIC), a member of the La Habra Police Department’s K9 Foundation, and he annually donates trucks to city events such as the Corn Festival Parade.
Also intent on giving back to the community, Ofelia is the Director of Educational Service at the Boys & Girls Club and the 2015-2016 president of the La Habra Host Lions Club.  She is also a member of the Boys & Girls Club Alumni Association and was elcted to the La Habra City School District board of directors last year.
“When I was a kid at the Boys & Girls Club, I benefited from various scholarships and donations from the Lions Club,” said Ofelia. “Now it’s my time to give back.”
Ofelia is in charge of the after-school programs for nine different schools at the Boys & Girls Club.
As Lions Club president, she stays on task with projects in community service and fundraising.  “Last year, we were able to give about $60,000 back to the community. It’s pretty fantastic,” she said.
The Hansons maintain their spirit of giving back in everything they do.
“Anyone that comes through the door of Graham’s Towing, we always do what we can to help,” said Ofelia.
Both she and Danny are really devoted to better the La Habra community and show appreciation for all the community has done for them.
“When Bill was dying, I told him that I will never change the name of Graham’s Towing,” said Hanson. “He was like a father to me. He taught me how important it is to help people, and I will always be grateful for that.”

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Crest Lock and Key: Moving forward with customer service

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Crest Lock and Key: Moving forward with customer service

Posted on 22 July 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal

As the last building standing on property that used to be home to two car washes, the iconic little building on the corner of Beach and Whittier Boulevards was finally torn down.LHJ Crest Key_0004
Crest Lock & Key Service moved to its new location on Whittier Boulevard on July 6.
Once operating out of the walk-up wooden shack on the corner, they are now in a 1000-square foot showroom.
Crest Lock & Key Service was encouraged by the city to move locations because the city has plans to redevelop the vacant land around that area.
Owner Todd Faro said he was given only a few weeks’ notice and was lucky enough to find a location close to the former.
Faro and his corporation are the second owners of Crest Lock & Key Service; it was previously owned for about 40 years by Dave and Anne Stevens, who gave the store a mom-and-pop feeling.
They were well-known and liked by the La Habra community throughout their ownership.  Faro’s corporation took over about three and a half years ago; they also own three other lock-and-key services in Orange County.
Faro has been extremely happy with the customers and the regular business of Crest Lock & Key Service.
“The shack was a fabulous location, but we wanted to offer more services,” Faro said. “I think this showroom will be one of the nicest lock shops in Orange County.” Crst Key
The showroom will allow customers to walk into the shop and browse the displays, which wasn’t a possibility at the walk-up shack.  Keys, locks, and various security items will be on display for customers to view more properly and make their purchasing decisions.
“The showroom provides us with the opportunity to offer more keys, safes, locks, and security-related projects for purchase and viewing,”  Faro said. “But one issue with moving is that people who only come in once a year will think that we went out of business.”
In order to spread the word about Crest Lock & Key’s new location to loyal customers and newcomers, Faro will be offering one free house key with any purchase over the minimum value of $4.
No matter the location, Faro’s customer service will help keep the community locked and secured.

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Cannings: Customer service and selection is key to success

Cannings: Customer service and selection is key to success

Posted on 01 July 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal

Family-owned Canning’s Ace Hardware has been satisfying customers in La Habra for 55 years and counting. Located on La Habra Boulevard, it is a convenient spot for customers to purchase a spare part or tool for a project they are working on.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal The hardware store: The Johnson family stresses friendly and helpful customer service and product selection in order to help keep Cannings Ace Hardware successful in La Habra.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
The hardware store: The Johnson family stresses friendly and helpful customer service and product selection in order to help keep Cannings Ace Hardware successful in La Habra.

Canning’s Ace Hardware has been around for over half a century and was first opened by the Canning family.  However, the Johnson family bought the hardware store from the Cannings family in 1970 and have been running it ever since.
Co-owners Irene Johnson and her son Dick Johnson currently own four other hardware stores in the Southern California area, one under the name Johnson’s Hardware and the other three under the name L.B. Johnson.
The Johnsons have been in the hardware business for four generations.
Johnson’s Hardware, located in Rialto, was opened in 1919 by Dick’s great-grandfather.  The Johnsons first bought Canning’s Ace Hardware when Dick was still a college student, but he quickly became involved in the store.
“My years in the hardware business have been good,” Johnson said. “We’ve gotten to the point in La Habra where we’re seeing the same faces every Saturday.  There are people who have been coming to us for 30 years or more, and yet we still see new faces pretty often. It’s a lot of fun.”
Johnson described Canning’s Ace Hardware as a “homeowner-type store.” The store carries items that are difficult to find at the big chains Home Depot and Lowe’s and the staff is focused on helping each customer solve whatever problem they come in with, no matter how strange it may be.
“I like the challenge,” Johnson admitted. “People come in with problems and it’s always interesting to see the way we figure out how to fix it. Sometimes it can be pretty nonconventional.”
Dick and Irene are constantly moving around overseeing their multiple stores, which leaves manager of Canning’s Jeff Belongia to hold down the fort the majority of the week.
Belongia has been with the store for 17 years and helps customers in the store and on the phone with their day-to-day needs.
For Belongia and the Johnsons, it’s the attention-to-detail of the staff and the fact that they have the customer’s best interest at heart that keeps Canning’s Ace Hardware up to speed with its competitors.
This is a store that provides a thorough and friendly experience.
With four stars of approval on Yelp, the majority of the reviews rave about the excellent customer service and variety of product.
Yelper Bruce L. of Whittier emphasized that at Canning’s Ace Hardware, you don’t need to buy that one bolt or nut you need in a bulk package like you would at a larger commercial store.
It’s this kind of convenience that keeps customers coming back to Canning’s Ace Hardware.

 

Cannings Ace Hardware
344 W. La Habra Blvd,
La Habra,
(562) 697-8118

HOURS:
Mon- Sat
6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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A commitment to the community at  Hectors Furniture

A commitment to the community at Hectors Furniture

Posted on 18 June 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Breanna Flores
La Habra Journal

The digital era has made buying furniture as easy as clicking a button—as long as you are willing to settle. Hector’s Furniture in La Habra  has offered customers custom furniture pieces for the past 50 years.

LHJ Chamber Night2015

La Habra staple: The four Amezcua brothers feel their showroom and American-made furniture sold in La Habra has helped them to connect with the community for more than 50 years.

“Our store is different than a lot of stores are today, because they basically order things from china. If you get a sofa from there, it only comes in one color,” said Raul Amezcua, one of the four owners of Hector’s Furniture.
Brothers Hector, Ernest, Al and Raul Amezcua purchase inventory from American manufacturers so that they can offer several different colors and fabrics to customers.
“We can get it in any fabric you want. If you get a piece from China. They offer it in one color and you have to buy a boatload. Here, we can order one or two pieces,” Amezcua said.
“We’re able to compete in a market where everyone is selling low-quality items, and we’re selling quality pieces,” salesman Mike Meseck added.
Originally, Hector’s Furniture sold and manufactured mattresses, and gradually added furniture to the business. They later decided to discontinue manufacturing mattresses and eventually began focusing on furniture pieces.
Today, customers can find custom furniture for homes and offices at a medium price range.
The Amezcuas appreciate the location in La Habra.
One of the ways that the business has maintained a competitive edge is by offering personalized pieces and making customers feel as comfortable as possible by eliminating the pressures of commission sales.
Employees at Hector’s Furniture do not pressure customers to make fast purchases because they do not receive compensation based on how many items they sell.
Amezcua said that mature generations prefer visiting furniture stores because they want to see it in person and try it out.
Amezcua said that Hector’s has a special connection with the community of La Habra,
Many of their customers are from La Habra—some are even multi-generational customers.
“Most of our demographic are senior citizens, but as they move into nursing homes, they don’t need to buy furniture. But we do have multi-generational customers who come because their parents bought from us,” Meseck said.
Amezcua and Meseck said that their goals at Hector’s Furniture store is to provide a good product at a good price with personalized service.
One of the benefits of being located in La Habra is having faithful customers, according to Amezcua. He even shared that the police department occasionally stops by to “see how things are going.”
One way the Amezcuas give back to the community is by supporting the Sonora High School and the La Habra High School athletic teams annually.
“If we support anyone, they have to be here in La Habra,” Amezcua said.
The brothers enjoy working together, but try not to work each other “to death.”
They all get two days off every week to spend with their family.
Home delivery is offered to customers, but financing is no longer available.
Hector’s Furniture store is located at 341 E. Whittier Boulevard. They can be reached at (562) 691-2289.

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Taking care of pets is a passion

Taking care of pets is a passion

Posted on 04 June 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Breanna Flores
La Habra Journal

Vacations are especially popular during extended weekends; Memorial Day weekend was no exception this year. Pets and pet

LHJ Dog Lodge

LHJ Dog Lodge

owners filtered in and out of The Dog Lodge lobby. Away from the outside buzz was Jazzy, a small, delicate white dog. The deaf and blind dog was kept in a large wire cage in owner Sharon Machlik’s office because she required more supervision than most others at the facility.
Machlik said that even though Jazzy is a “regular” at The Dog Lodge, her owner still sits and cries for about 10 minutes every time she drops her off.
Parting with a pet is often difficult for pet owners –even if it is only temporary. For this reason, Machlik and her staff try to make owners feel as comfortable as possible.
“[Pets] really play an important part in people’s lives. It just takes talking to people and showing that you really care about the animal, rather than saying it’s just a business and [asking] how many days they’re going to be here,” Machlik said.
Born and raised in Michigan, Machlik later moved to Indiana to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Purdue University. Years later, she received a phone call asking if she would be interested in moving to California to work in food product development.
Years passed and Machlik gradually learned about dogs and grooming. She acquired the former kennel about 15 years ago and added additional services to create a “complete pet care facility.”
The Dog Lodge has remained competitive with larger companies by offering a flexible boarding facility. Instead of keeping dogs in a cage for the duration of their stay, dogs can access the outdoors during the day. At night, dogs are kept in an indoor area that is heated or cooled accordingly.
Animal wellness is a top priority at the facility, this includes ensuring that the animals are eating regularly. In some cases, dogs become too stressed to eat. This is common for dogs who have never before been apart from their owner. With the owners’ approval, Machlik’s staff cook chicken and rice for any stressed dogs and coax them into eating and eventually regaining their appetite.
Machlik said that it takes experience to learn how to handle a variety of animal temperaments and personalities.
To ensure that new and current staff members know how to care for these animals, the facility is visited monthly by a veterinarian. The vet inspects the facility and also teaches the staff how to handle aggressive animals. In addition, suppliers also brief the staff on product benefits and uses. This includes products such as various shampoos for sensitive skin, dry skin and conditioners for dry skin.
Animal care and supervision is required 24 hours a day. To achieve this, some employees live adjacent to the facility.
For those who are unable to drive their pets to The Dog Lodge, the company’s mobile van will drive to your house and groom. On average, grooming takes two hours.
One of the ways Machlik gives back to the La Habra community is by donating boarding and grooming gift certificates to organizations.
One of the most rewarding experiences for Machlik is seeing how happy people are, once they are reunited with their pet after a few hours or after several weeks. There are several dogs who have been boarded at The Dog Lodge for five or six years. Owners sometimes move to new homes that do not allow pets or no longer able to care for their pets due to an illness. Pets are normally visited every few weeks but are kept at the facility long-term.
The Dog Lodge is located at 1551 West Lambert Road in La Habra and can be reached at (562) 691-6466. Business hours are Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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Keeping La Habra running for four decades

Posted on 11 March 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Brianna Flores
La Habra Journal

Cannon Photo

Muffler Man: Dan Cannon stands next to his black 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible inside of Cannon’s Muffler Service. Cannon has been working on customer’s cars in La Habra since 1975.

Nestled in next to Taqueria and across the street from Washington Middle School, Cannon’s Muffler Service has served the community of La Habra since 1975, thanks to dedication and a strong work ethic.
Before he opened a shop of his own, Dan Cannon worked at his father’s muffler shop since he was about 13 years old.
“That’s how I fell into this business. After I got out of school, I went to work and I’ve been working ever since,” Cannon said.
Cannon’s father agreed to help him open his first muffler shop on Whittier Boulevard, partially because rent was considered inexpensive at just $225 per month. Just 19 years old, he was determined to succeed – just as his father had.
Almost two years later, his father died of a heart attack at age 45.
“I lost my best friend,” Cannon said. “I had no one to ask how to do this, or how to do that. So it was like, swim or drown because my dad was gone.”
So he swam. And succeeded.
In 1995, Cannon moved from his first shop, one that only had two car racks, to his current location on East La Habra Boulevard.
Cannon’s Muffler Service is different from other automotive shops for a couple of different reasons. First off, it is a specialty automotive shop, focusing on exhaust systems only.
“I don’t do oil changes, I don’t do brake jobs,” said Cannon. “I don’t do what all these other muffler shops do. I’m fortunate that I can still make a living with one thing—exhaust only. It’s getting to be rare. You take any muffler shop and they’re basically a full automotive shop. It’ll say mufflers, but they’ll take in everything they can just to pay the bills because it’s getting tough.”
The automotive industry has changed immensely since Cannon first opened his doors. About two decades ago, automobile mufflers used to “rot out” and rust because they were built using steel and needed to be replaced every two to three years. Today, the industry has built a better product using stainless steel, which lasts much longer.
The second characteristic that distinguishes Cannon’s Muffler Service from similar automotive shops is honesty and commitment to his customers.
“I’m just not a crook,” said Cannon. “When people leave here they feel like, ‘Hey, that guy’s honest.’ I want you to feel like you’ve got an honest answer. That’s what my dad taught me. If I can’t help you I’m going to send you to someone that can. To someone that’s not going to treat you like a piece of crap and take your money just because you’ve got a credit card.”
He recalls learning that bad news travels much faster than good news and operates his business based on that notion. Although each day varies, anywhere from two to five vehicles are serviced daily.
Years ago, muffler shops were considered “fix-it” shops that were capable of fixing or welding nearly every type of metal. For this reason, Cannon explained that a variety of vehicles, metals and machinery are taken to his shop.
“I had a guy come in with a gardening trailer. Sometimes you just can’t believe some of the stuff that comes through the door,” he said.
Cannon serves as the owner, manager and the only employee at his muffler shop, but once a week, his oldest son, Kyle, visits and helps out his father. Cannon is grateful that his business has allowed him to maintain a close relationship with his family, especially his sons.
Customers from cities as far as Riverside and occasionally loyal customers from out of state take their vehicles to Cannon’s Muffler Service while they are in the area visiting family members.
There was a time when he was unsure if he would succeed in running his own muffler business.
“In the end, I ended up making it,” Cannon said.

Cannon’s Muffler Service
711 E. La Habra Blvd.
La Habra, CA.
(562) 694-3319.

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Building Business through Community Participation

Posted on 22 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Mark Sturdevant
La Habra Business Journal

La Habra businesses need to be creative in generating new customers.  How about participating with the community?  By getting involved in the community through non-profits, the Chamber or City government events and projects; you would be getting the word out about your company and products while helping the community.20140416_115704
Whether you choose to sponsor, participate in or organize an event, you are generating positive word of mouth.  You are generating goodwill within the organization you are helping. Positive word of mouth and goodwill leads people to begin to know like and trust you and your company – the cornerstones of any referral growth strategy.
It is important that your willingness to give is genuine. It is also important for people to know your need to build your business. It is this honest understanding that people appreciate and builds a trusted relationship. Within any non-profit, you are exposed to and can network with people who work, own a home, own a business, have children, have friends, etc., making them likely customers too! Go easy on the hard sell, this is a long term relationship building and not for those looking for the quick sale.
Most community organizations also have an online presence – and are constantly looking for good, local content. Offer to write an article for their web site or newsletter to inform their subscribers about something you are an expert in.  Remember you are writing to inform not sell, however, this is a subtle way of selling your abilities and your company.  Some examples:

  • l  If you are printer, write information on creating fliers or banners or brochures.
  • l  If you have a Computer business, write about the different ways to stay up with technology.
  • l  If you offer accounting, write about tax saving ideas.

“Every business should have a philanthropic arm,” according to David Deleon, recreation manager for the City of La Habra. “The reason is to position your business as a real supporter of the community, not just a consumer.  The City provides plenty of opportunity to get involved; you just need to make the effort.  The bottom line – people need to know who you are and what your business offers. You can buy ads, put up signs or run specials but it does not compare with working shoulder to shoulder, side by side next to a potential customer. Allowing people to see the human side of you is good  for business.” We agree!
Check with the Chamber about getting started with our  community organizations, non-profits and causes you are passionate about. If possible, get your employees involved as well. For more information contact the Chamber at (562) 697-1704.

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There is Dignity to Work

Posted on 22 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Joyce Miriam Brooks, Ph.D.
Board Chair of the La Habra  Chamber of Commerce

One of the ways businesses service the community is by providing opportunity to live out our fundamental need to be productive.  There is dignity to work.

Dr. Joyce Brooks

Dr. Joyce Brooks

When we contribute to our own welfare and that of others, we feel a sense of satisfaction.  We all desire to be valued for who we are and appreciated for what we do.  Feeling useful enhances self-esteem.
When attempting to improve the lives of the poor in third-world countries, non-governmental organizations have learned that the way to make a lasting difference is to equip individuals to work rather than providing handouts.  For example, impoverished women may be given a small loan to buy a cow so that they can sell the milk at a profit.  Combined with business coaching and the support of an accountability group, these newly-empowered business women are equipped to work themselves out of poverty.  They move from victim to entrepreneur and can become leaders in their community. This is the power of the dignity that comes from work.
Of course forced labor such as human trafficking or other kinds of slavery inherently robs workers of dignity.  And the workplace climate may become demeaning in the face of constant criticism, conflict, and disrespect.
But we can be thankful for the many reputable businesses that provide opportunities to embrace the dignity of work.

Dr. Joyce is a pastor and an organizational development consultant: her mission is to equip individuals to flourish at work.  Contact her at dr.joyce@joycembrooks.com.

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